It seems like anytime I post about potential problems with low-carb diets I get all this pushback. For example, in the last post I summarized a case study of a person on the Atkins diet. The person switched to an Atkins diet and a couple years later developed chest pains and erectile dysfunction. Then he switched to a whole foods diet and within two months the chest pain and ED went away.
Of course, this type of case report is riddled with problems. Correlation does not equal causation. Time lags. Etc. But here's the thing: would any objective bystander tell this person that he should go back on the Atkins diet? It's just common sense to see that this particular diet didn't work for this person.
And this is the key issue for me when discussing this report: people acknowledge their own experience as being highly relevant but dismiss anyone else's experiences as being incorrect. It's like some kind of mental block: "Atkins worked for me and so therefore it must work for everyone else". Why do people assume there is no variability across people's response to diets?
As in the responses to this report: "maybe he ate carbs", "maybe he didn't exercise", "maybe he didn't eat the right fats". Here's a simpler explanation: maybe the diet as prescribed didn't work for him. Why don't people want to acknowledge that low-carb hasn't worked, doesn't work, and will not for some people? It's like it would be a sin to admit this. (By the way, did anyone notice that there was a 42% attrition rate in the two-year low-carb diet study that was just published?)
Let me say that I am not necessarily against low-carb diets. It's not something I do, but if it works long-term for a person, then great. But the idea that a person has to do low-carb to achieve leanness and/or health is ridiculous. Martin over at LeanGains has amassed an incredible photo gallery of people achieving low body fat on moderate carbs. Further, you have Stephen's report on a culture in New Guinea that consumes 90% of their calories from sweet potatoes, and they seem to be in fine health.
I don't see what's so controversial about acknowledging all this.